marijuana plant 

Marijuana Health Impacts

The Boulder County Reducing Substance Abuse Coalition has identified marijuana as a priority issue to address in our community. Although marijuana may help reduce symptoms of certain medical conditions, it may have some harmful effects depending on how often it is used. There is clear evidence that regular use of marijuana increases the risk of learning problems, accidents, physical and mental health problems, and addiction.

Learning

The brain isn't fully developed until the age of 25. The adolescent years represent a critical time for brain development, making youth especially vulnerable to marijuana use. Regular marijuana use among teens has been linked to irreversible and long-term:

  • Impaired learning
  • Impaired memory
  • Decreased IQ

Safety

Use and access to marijuana by children and adolescent creates safety concerns including:

Mental Health

Marijuana use among adolescents and teens has been linked with serious mental health issues such as psychosis and schizophrenia, especially among those with a family history of mental illness. The potential for depression and anxiety may also be higher among teen marijuana users. Mood and anxiety disorders occur more frequently in individuals that have become dependent on marijuana use.

Physical Health

Cardiovascular & Respiratory Issues

Smoking marijuana can have long-term health effects including lung and mouth damage and cancer and respiratory problems ranging from chronic cough and colds to respiratory infections including bronchitis and pneumonia. Smoking marijuana can also expose others to the health effects of secondhand smoke.

Pregnancy & breastfeeding

As with alcohol and cigarettes, marijuana exposure during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is not recommended. There is some evidence marijuana use during pregnancy can result in:

  • Certain birth defects
  • Symptoms similar to fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Stillbirth or miscarriage
  • Irritability and/or poor sleep in the infant

Addiction

Marijuana use increases costs for treatment and can lead to addiction:

  • About 9% of people who start using marijuana as an adult will become addicted.
  • About 17% who start using marijuana between ages 13 and 25 will become addicted.
  • About 50% of the people who use marijuana daily become addicted.

Contact Us About Marijuana Health Impacts

Learn More

General

Mental Health

Pregnancy

Regulations

Research

Youth

 Related Links


Contacts

Community Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)

Main: 303-413-7546
Submit a question

www.BoulderCountyCSAP.org

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